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Del Mar doesn’t have a squirrel problem at the moment. But when it does — the critters can weaken bluffs and spread disease — the city hires a company that traps the squirrels and kills them.

The city has battled over them before and the mayor doesn’t even know the trapped animals are doomed.

Top 3 Mayoral Rivals Say They’re Clean on Harassment

The top three mayoral candidates tell VOSD and our news partner NBC San Diego that they haven’t been accused in claims of workplace or sexual harassment. We’ve posted a story (you can read it here) and NBC San Diego has more, including verbatim responses from the candidates comments from people who worked for them.

• It’s been a mighty polite and mighty dull mayoral race so far, with the candidates being nice to each other and making little in the way of waves.

And then came yesterday.

The right-leaning Lincoln Club is out with a mailer that bashes candidate Nathan Fletcher, a Democrat. Funny thing: The mailer (check it out here) doesn’t seem to target Republicans or even independents.

Instead it appears to be designed to turn people off of Fletcher and perhaps onto his main Democratic opponent, Councilman David Alvarez. Perhaps GOP types think Alvarez would be a better opponent for the Republican, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, and they want to boost Alvarez at Fletcher’s expense.

• And away he goes: Bruce Coons, a local preservationist, says he’s dropping out of the mayor’s race, City News Service reports via KPBS. He was endorsed Councilman David Alvarez.

Coons was perhaps the most well-known candidate outside of the top three and Michael Aguirre, the former city attorney.

Some media outlets treated Coons as a contender, lumping him into a top five rivals. He got attention from progressives on the left and even showed up with a few percentage points in a survey. In a close race, those voters could have been crucial.

• Today in Foot-in-Mouth Disease: “Nathan is probably the best-looking candidate and would have the most appeal to gay men based on his very handsome persona, but it takes more than good looks and personality to lead a city the size of San Diego.” — San Diego Log Cabin Republican president Susan Jester to SDGLN.com on mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher.

Writer Finds New Library Less than Welcoming

VOSD education blogger Christie Ritter loves the new Central Library — but only to a point.

As she writes in a new commentary, “it’s beautiful, comfortable, free and is accessible from public transportation.” But it’s also in downtown, where she believes she’ll need to pay a “hefty price” to park.

Parking at the library is free now, but there will be some sort of charge later, potentially with a free hour or two for library users. (The old Central Library didn’t have free parking, although cheapskate drivers like me could avoid meter fees during its sparse evening and Sunday hours.)

Ritter also complained about the homeless people who are already congregating the new library like they did at the old one. One screeched during her visit, frightening her son and worrying people nearby.

The commentary sparked an intense discussion among VOSD commenters. Check their opinions here, drop by The Plaza (chatterbox central), and take a look at our 2011 Q&A with the city’s library director for her thoughts about the use of libraries by transients. (In brief: The library can’t kick them out for just being there.)

• Got questions for the architect behind the new library? Read our this week’s VOSD Q&A with him and ask away here. We’ll follow up with answers.

Quick News Hits

• Local Rep. Darrell Issa got himself clobbered big-time in court by a federal judge. (Slate)

• The county’s three Democratic members of the House are pushing a “grant program for infrastructure improvements at existing and future border crossings, including San Ysidro and Otay Mesa,” the U-T reports.

• There’s a debate brewing over whether the proposed Convention Center expansion will cost at least $34 million more than the $520 million estimate. KPBS has details

• City officials have been snarled in a major brouhaha over the city’s decision to allow a Jack in the Box in North Park to undergo a “remodel” that’s much more than a nip-and-tuck. Now, CityBeat reports that Jack in the Box has used a similar approach to revamp a drive-thru restaurant in downtown; It seems to have abandoned the Planning Commission process in favor of a remodel that any reasonable person would call a rebuild.

The unanswered questions: Did the city screw up? If it did — remember, that’s not clear at all — what happens then?

• “America Runs on Dunkin’,” they say, but here in San Diego we barely even crawl. There’s just one Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, and it’s way up in Camp Pendleton. Talk about a donut hole.

But there’s good news for bear claw aficionados: the chain is opening another shop in the county, the U-T reports.

Pro-tip if you see me in the vicinity: Step away from the devil’s food and nobody gets hurt.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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